Social Media, Democratic Movement and Challenges on the Content


The freedom of Internet has created emerging trends, particularly as it now plays greater role in enhancing new political culture, in changing mainstream media democracy practices, and in supporting more diverse participation among Malaysians. The most notable trends are the growing numbers of bloggers since the Malaysian 12th and 13th general election, the formation of bloggers’ group, and also the popularity of internet media which is run by independent groups; mostly linked to opposition parties and the increase of video sharing websites posted by citizen journalists in spreading political issues and their own opinions. However, this expansion has continuously created difficulties for the ruling government (BN), as public were exposed to other alternative online views rather than through mainstream media. Meanwhile, Internet community also faced obstacles such as defamation and sedition charges and being arrested under blurring legislation provisions. In the present time, concerns have arisen among Internet community whether mainstream media restrictions may spill over into cyberspace. This paper will investigate how and why the Internet has made a difference to Malaysian political culture, how news discourses have produced more diversity in participation, and how independent Internet media can be managed through a policy framework.

Dr. Sara Chinnasamy.